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Immigration graphs

This graph comes from the CBO's report on immigrants, education and employment. The main thing you'll notice is that highly educated native-born women are employed at much higher rates than immigrants, while native-born men are employed at slightly lower rates at almost every education level.


Meanwhile, the foreign-born labor force is more geographically dispersed than it used to be, though not extraordinarily so.


By Ezra Klein  |  July 27, 2010; 9:56 AM ET
Categories:  Charts and Graphs  
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This doesn't seem too surprising. Highly educated women don't generally immigrate here alone, they ususally come as wives of highly educated immigrant men, who are generally in their 20's and 30's. Since immigrant childbearing rates are above those for U.S. natives, it makes sense that their labor force participation would be lower.

Posted by: guesswhosue | July 27, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

The high employment rates for immigrant men isn't terribly surprising either. Most of them came here specifically for employment.

Posted by: tl_houston | July 27, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

What does it mean to be "employed"? Is a woman who cleans a dozen houses a week, and is paid in cash, "employed"? How about a woman who provides day care, for cash? Does the CBO attempt to estimate the number of immigrant women who work in the gray market of unregulated domestic services?

Posted by: Bloix | July 27, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

~11 million Americans unemployed.

~11 million "illegal aliens" in the U.S.

Not to sound confrontational, but truly: is there a connection?

Posted by: paul65 | July 27, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

This data is entirely unsurprising. Immigrants self-select for ambition and willingness to work hard, as it takes both to get here legally or illegally.

Dropping out of primary/secondary school (where the main diaprities exist), is a strong indicator of a lack of ambition and willingness to work hard, at least within the formal economy.

If I had to pick two traits that differentiate the long-term unemployed from the employed: ambition and willingness to work hard. And by long-term unemployed, I mean out of the formal labor market almost for good, not striving to get back in.

Posted by: huadpe | July 27, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

huadpe, I disagree. There are enough reasons contributing to school dropout rates that you simply can't make such a generalization. This graph does prove, however, that it is an elitist argument to imply immigrants from third world countries do not take jobs away from Americans. If college professors and journalist were replaced by people willing to work for ten bucks an hour, their saged commentary would quickly change.

Posted by: bobsteph1234 | July 27, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

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